What do a fashion expert, empanadas masters, sustainable tourism specialists, and 3D prosthetic right-handed people have in common? They are all talented entrepreneurs, but not any entrepreneurship. What unites them is the dream of living in a better place, risking slipping at any time to achieve a social impact that changes their lives and those around them.
In addition, they are entrepreneurs who make up the first Portfolio of the Wiese Foundation Entrepreneur Fund, a non-profit institution, which has provided funding of 150 thousand soles to each, in order to promote initiatives that contribute to resolving some relevant social problem of the country.
What motivated them to create their social enterprises?, what are the main obstacles they have encountered?, how do they plan to position themselves in the market? Then meet these Peruvian social entrepreneurs.
RICARDO RODRÍGUEZ TORRES (PIXED TECHNOLOGY MANAGER)
He is big as is his heart eager to do good and transcendental things. He founded Pixed (a company that makes limb prostheses) motivated by a personal experience. A family member with physical disabilities was a victim of a society that put barriers to finding job opportunities.
“Pixed was born as a social purpose that allows low-income people to access technology. The idea is to keep innovating, creating new opportunities to help people who really need it. We want to position our brand in the health sector, even doctors already recommend our products. The mission is for Pixed to lead inclusive technologies at Latin American level”.
VALERY ZEVALLOS HINOJOSA (ESTRAFALARIO MANAGER)
Valery is a talented designer who founded Estrafalario (a clothing brand that employs women from the penal annex of Chorrillos) after learning that fashion was the second most polluting industry on the planet.
“I decided to investigate and become an agent of change. I wanted to keep making clothes, but now with a purpose. Fashion can positively impact the environment and help empower women. The problem is the financing and feasibility to manage the social programs that we want, we must have the right contacts. In ten years, I see Estrafalario around the world, as a conscious option, with a positive environmental and social impact.”
CARLOS SÁNCHEZ RAMÍREZ (EMPANACOMBI MANAGER)
He oversees the commercial part of Empanacombi (a company that promotes the employment inclusion of cooks with intellectual disabilities). This social enterprise is the opportunity that people with these characteristics have to be able to integrate into the labour market, even more if the offer includes aromatic and delicious empanadas that are a delight for the palate. He tells us a secret:
“The founder of the company is my wife Cinthya Rodríguez who is also my partner. She, motivated by giving a job to her younger sister who has Down syndrome, decided that the business should have an inclusive vision. Empanacombi is a sign of how family experience can be transformed into a business model.”
ALEJANDRA ARIAS-STELLA (RRPP DIRECTOR AND LLAMA PACK ADMINISTRATOR)
Her name is related to important social development projects, including Llama Pack (a company that seeks to rescue the use of llamas as cargo animals)
“The original idea came from my husband who is a climber. On his travels to the Andean valleys he always wondered why donkeys had to carry luggage if they could use the llamas. It could be seen that, despite tourism growth, many communities continued to live in extreme poverty. This idea was transformed into a family project that today seeks to include environmental and social development. Llama Pack articulates communities with resources and opportunities for economic growth.”
These four entrepreneurs have developed sustainable, time-effective and socially impactable ventures, so they will be funded with 150 thousand soles each by the Entrepreneurial Fund, a program created by the Wiese Foundation that has NESst as its strategic ally.
At this first welcome meeting to the Entrepreneur Fund Portfolio, these social entrepreneurship leaders have received training, as well as playful training to meet their social and commercial goals.